Property Settlement After a Breakdown of a Relationship Under the Family Law Act Australia
If you are separated or divorced in Australia, one of the most important legal issues to deal with is property management. For family law purposes, estate division refers to the process of dividing assets and liabilities after a relationship breaks down. This can be a complex and emotional process, but understanding your legal rights and obligations will help you achieve a fair and satisfying outcome.
What is Property Settlement?
Settlement is the legal process of dividing assets and liabilities, such as: Your home, savings, investments, and debt after a broken relationship. This may be done by agreement between the parties or, if agreement cannot be reached, by court order. Property sharing is applicable to married couples, de facto couples, and same-sex couples living together for a period of time.
According to family law, wealth regulation is based on the principle of “fair and just” distribution, taking into account many factors such as:
- Each party’s financial contribution to the relationship, including income, assets, and inheritance;
- Caring for children, managing household finances, helping the other with career or education;
- Future needs of each party, such as age, health status, earning capacity, and responsibility for caring for children and other dependents;
- Length of relationship, including duration of separation or reconciliation;
- Other relevant factors, such as domestic violence, waste of property, third party interests, etc.
How Does Property Settlement Work?
Property division can be made by agreement between the parties without the need for court proceedings. This is often the preferred option as it is less expensive and time-consuming than going to court. However, it is important to ensure that the contract is fair and legally binding, and that independent legal advice has been obtained before signing.
If an agreement cannot be reached, or if there is a dispute over the value or ownership of the property, the parties may apply to the court to settle the property. The court then examines the evidence submitted by both parties and makes a decision based on relevant legal principles and factors.
It is important to note that there is a time limit for filing an application for estate settlement after a relationship has broken down. For married couples, it is one year from the date of divorce. In the case of common-law marriages and same-sex couples, it is two years from the date of separation.
Where Can I Get More Information?
If you have any questions or concerns about family law property management, please consult a family law professional. They can advise and represent you individually and help you navigate the court proceedings.
Further information on wealth management and other family law matters can be found on the Australian Family Court website. This website offers a variety of resources and services for parties and attorneys.
In summary, property settlement is an important legal issue to deal with after a relationship breaks down. By understanding your rights and responsibilities under family law and seeking professional help, when necessary, you can ensure that the process of administering your property is fair, effective, and legally binding.